Second Trimester Style – Under Bump or Over Bump?

At 19 weeks I am now well into the 2nd trimester and I am actually enjoying it (which is a nice surprise as I didn’t enjoy any of my first pregnancy!). I am managing my SPD problems ok at the moment and though I am still tired at times, the overwhelming exhaustion of the 1st trimester has faded away nicely. The bump is also growing now, although (and hubby is getting really fed up of me saying this) I still feel like I look more plump than bump! (I have stolen that phrase from the fab Ghostwriter mummy as I love it) I just don’t think I look pregnant to the casual observer!

It varies day to day and also from outfit to outfit. When I look down at my tummy – it looks huge to me and then I am surprised when I catch my reflection and see that it is barely there really. Anyone else get that? Different perspectives I know but my tummy feels massive to me!

Anyway I am well into wearing some maternity wear now, and thought I would talk a little about  under bump vs over bump maternity trousers/leggings etc. In my last pregnancy I very much went for the over bump style jeans. I can’t deny that this is partly (ok largely) because the cheapo New Look maternity jeans are the over bump style. I’m quite a fan of New Look clothes.

This post is in no way sponsored by them and I do wear other clothing ranges, but I somehow seem to gravitate towards New Look clothes, especially when I am pregnant. I guess it’s because they are quite low cost (I can be a bit tight about spending money on clothes) but I’ve also always found that their 9.99 jeans actually fit me really well. Much better, in fact than the hundreds of pairs of jeans that I have tried on in various other shops over the years. So I tend to gravitate back to New Look.

So yes, last time I went largely for over-bump trousers. However I actually used to turn the stretchy bump band bit down a lot of the time, because I found the over bump bit to be pretty uncomfortable!  Because they always end in a daft place!


Bearing in mind I am not even quite half way through my pregnancy yet, the over bump portion of all the trousers and leggings I have, actually end mid-bump.  (The pair pictured are JoJo Maman Bebe.) Is it just me that finds this really annoying? It sits in a place where my already slightly squashed stomach inhabits and with heartburn etc I just can’t bear having clothing squeezing on that portion of my midriff. Why can’t they go all the way up to your rib cage? I’ve got some lovely pre-pregnancy control underwear, and control tights, that go all the way up, why can’t maternity clothes? Where they sit on me, right in the middle, is neither here nor there so they invariably get pulled down.

I’m 5’7″ so not ridiculously tall, though I know I’m not exactly petite either, so I have wondered if I should try taller ranges, but then the legs are way too long. Does anyone else have this issue with over bump maternity wear? Or is my body just disproportionately longer than my legs?

So anyway, this time I decided to go for some under bump style trousers. I’m actually a size smaller than I was when I was pregnant 1st time round, otherwise I would just use the clothes from last time – plus it’s summer and I need shorts and cropped jeans. I do have some over bump leggings too (as you can see above) but I thought it was worth trying out some under-bump styles too.

Under-bump trousers at least don’t have the same issue as they do tend to sit in the right place… ish. My problems with under bump trousers are that they ride down. It’s not like you can wear a belt to hold them up, but I am constantly worrying about my builders bum appearing when I crouch down or lean over, because my jeans have slid too far down! Plus when they slide down they can sit in the rather unflattering position where they then push any excess weight up. Call them love handles, muffin tops, whatever you wish, but they really add to the whole ‘plump’ rather than ‘bump’ feeling!


I have an added fashion delight in the form of my SPD support belt that I have to wear when walking or standing for any length of time. It is really tight across my hips – so it does help to keep my trousers up… but it also does the aforementioned pushing up of flab, which is not quite so nice. It’s more easily hidden under dress & legging combos but is much more visible with regular trousers. Joy!

So, have I any solutions for these problems? Not really, though I do have a few fave outfits which really help me feel more confident and comfortable out and about, which is always a good thing. I got the idea for layering some non-maternity tops with longline maternity vests underneath from a post from Hannah at Mums’ Days that she wrote when she was pregnant. Thank you Hannah as these outfits are my absolute faves at the moment!


Having the longline maternity vest means I am covered in the builders bum department as they come down over my hips. They also cover my SPD support which is an added bonus! The tops over these then add a bit of looseness to hide the slightly lumpier areas and again make me feel less chubby. My bump is now too big to be able to wear these tops without the vests underneath and it’s also nice to be able to wear tops that still make me feel like me.

The blue stripey top is actually one of last summer’s fave t-shirts, whereas the other two are newer batwing tops by Apricot – a boutique label sold by New Look. The Maternity Vests are a New Look 3 pack and they are coming in very handy, although the neon pink one does make me feel ever so slightly ’80s! The cropped Jeans are also by New Look…  I really am not being sponsored by them, I bought everything with my own money! But I have one more outfit of theirs to show you.


Maternity dresses are so comfy and definitely hide all of the lumps and bumps more easily! This lovely stripey maternity dress is seriously clever, because the horizontal stripes aren’t actually straight. They taper off at the sides which gives a great illusion that again hides the early stages of the bump. I admit mine is getting less easy to conceal now, but this dress does still make me look and feel a bit slimmer!

As I’m writing this I am aware of how vain it all sounds. I know many people would say I should be embracing my bump and the curves that come along with it, but let’s face it, that isn’t always easy. When I get pregnant I put on weight all over, which I’m sure can be said of many women, and it’s not always an easy thing to come to terms with. Plus, unlike many pregnant women that you see in the media, my bump isn’t perfect or smooth. The top is smooth, but the lower portion is much more wobbly and not something I want to show off!It can be a struggle to feel attractive in any way or to still feel like yourself when your body is changing so much and you are having to constantly adapt your style. I absolutely loved this post from Chelle at Unique & Chic, for reminding me I am not the only mummy with a less than perfect bump!

Does anyone else feel like this? Or are you happier embracing the curves than I seem to be? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the under bump vs over bump trousers too! 🙂

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53 thoughts on “Second Trimester Style – Under Bump or Over Bump?

  1. I decided to splash out a bit during my second pregnancy and bought a few items from Jo Jo Maman Bebe including underbump jeans which were soooo much comfier than the cheap ropy version I had from Dorothy Perkins first time round! Having said that I did wear a pair of smart black work trousers with over bump which I hadn’t bothered with first time round and they were quite comfy. I guess it depends on the make, the material, etc. I think you look fab in your T-shirt vest and cut-off combos! That seems to be the ideal solution. Just remember that this bit of the pregnancy is the wobbly bit, in just a few weeks time it’ll all start firming up into a proper baby bump and you will feel less self conscious about it. (Hopefully!) X

    • Thanks Sam and I know what you mean, I was so poorly first time round that i don’t really remember caring much about what I looked like, so it’s a clear sign that I have more energy this time round that I do care! And you are also right about this being the wobbly stage – I am looking forward to it being over, though no doubt when my bump is huge I will be looking back to this stage with rose tinted glasses 🙂 xx

  2. can’t believe your 19 weeks already – that has gone so quickly!
    I wish I had bought more maternity clothes and felt comfertable in what I was wearing. At the time I was reluctant to buy much but looking back now I wish I had just spent the money.
    I think you lookd great in all the outfits, my two personal favourites are the dress and the middle top with the birds on xx

    • During my first pregnancy,16 years ago, you could only buy over the bump trousers. When I had my second child I wore under the bump.

      I did the layering thing to extend my tops. I bought cheaper jersey boob tubes from matalan and just wore them over my bump(under my boobs) for extra length. My bump was huge though. I had to go into maternity clothes by 10 weeks!

    • I know, it really is flying by! I can totally relate to that, I didn’t care much last time I was pregnant but looking back I was a bit of a mess, I am enjoying trying to look nice this time, so am spending a bit more money, though I still like my bargain outfits too :). Thank you, I wasn’t sure about the birds top at first but I do love it now! xx

  3. I did a bit of both, but being quite small (I’m only 5’1″) I found over bump more comfy, and wore leggings a lot. Under bump always seemed to fall down! Although I had a couple of bump bands which were helpful, and did the layering thing too, a long vest under tops. I was working full time, so I wore a lot of dresses, mainly non-maternity to be honest, just stretchy! Much more comfy. Tights were an issue though… 🙂 It’s tricky, I never wanted to spend pots on money on things that I would only wear during the second half of pregnancy! #AllAboutYou

    • I totally understand where you are coming from, which is one reason I am loving the layering at the moment, means I can use a lot of my non maternity tops and still wear them afterwards! xx

    • Thanks lovely and it is really helping thank goodness! haha thanks, i wasn’t sure about it to start with but I love it now 🙂 xx

  4. I think you look fantastic! I really struggled with maternity wear as after my first I was left with a horrific ‘mummy tummy’ with a bit of an overhang of skin so I would only wear over the bump jeans/leggings and like you’ve said they really don’t sit very comfortably. Love the layering though! X

    • Thank you 🙂 Argh it can be so hard to find something that is comfortable and looks nice – not an easy balance! xx

  5. I had to have a SPD wrap too, didn’t do much use though so I hope it’s helping you. I must admit I always found under bump much more comfortable. Thanks for linking up! #MMWBH

    • Mine seems to be helping so far – the one I had last time was useless but this one is definitely helping at the moment, we will see how it goes as I get bigger though! xx

  6. I always went over bump, just felt more supported. I love Tiffany Rose and Isabella Oliver for maternity clothes, sometimes i found it was worth splashing a bit more cash to get some really well fitting pieces that lasted through pregnancy and beyond. I love your blue stripey top by the way, I think you look fab! #MMWBH

    • Thank you, I am definitely spending a bit more this time as it really affects how i am feeling about myself, I love the Tiffany Rose clothes but can’t justify spending on it, not heard of Isabella Oliver so will check them out. Thanks for the tip! xx

  7. I didn’t buy much maternity clothes when I was pregnant with either of my two, I simply couldn’t afford to at the time. With my second pregnancy I bought a few pairs of under bump things, and did the long vest thing too. I had to wear a vest because my SPD brace covered most of my hips and tummy area. If I have another baby I think I would opt for overbump, but I’m 5’9 so might have the same problem as you.

    You look absolutely lovely. My favourite is your pink vest with bird top, it’s not 80’s at all it looks very summery!x

    • Thank you! It’s a difficult balance isn’t it, I don’t like spending money on things i will have for such a short time, but what I wear really affects how I am feeling about myself. SPD braces really don’t help either do they! xx

    • Aww thank you, feels like a too many pies bump sometimes! Ah that dress is fab isn’t it, and really reasonable! 🙂 xx

    • Thank you, wish I could do that but sadly my growth isn’t confined to my bump, my legs and bum expand ever so slightly too, making that not really an option! xx

  8. I’ve gravitated towards New Look a lot, although the majority of my maternity clothes have been second hand! I remember that feeling of thinking bump is big then realising it’s not that big hehe Soon enough it’ll come, I’m 36 weeks now and can barely walk at times! You look really good #BlogBumpClub

    • Oh good glad it’s not just me that feels that! I know I will be massive before I know it and need to make the most of this phase! 🙂

  9. Hi! Enjoyed reading your blog. I am also pregnant with my second baby. I LOVE the skinnies from New Look (under bump) – they are great and you get NO builders bum! This time round I am trying to embrace buying clothes that are stretchy and non maternity. I have found some great buys – mostly dresses and tops but it means that I will get more wear out of them! (tight!)!

    • Hi and thanks 🙂 I am trying to buy some clothes that will last after pregnancy too, feels like such a waste otherwise! xx

  10. I am crazy tall – well sort of, I’m 6’0″ and I’ve given up on maternity trousers, they either fall down or aren’t long enough or end half way up the bump like you say! My favourite have been a pair of leggings and some nice long tops (one maternity and one non maternity that’s just getting a little bit stretched – oops) and dresses. Dresses all the way – although when it comes to work don’t get me started on maternity tights – apparently you can be tall or pregnant but not both!! 🙂

    You look lovely so I think all of your combining is definitely doing the trick!

  11. You look great! Although I know that feeling of “plump or bump” as I felt like that until recently too. I like the over the bump clothes, but I have a great pair of maternity boyfriend jeans from Next which have elasticated sides and go under the bump. They’re probably my most comfy pair of trousers, aside from the leggings. Mind you, when the weather’s this hot I just want to be in a dress or – better still – in my PJs at home! Thank you for linking up to the #BlogBumpClub x

  12. I love that top with the birds on it very flattering im already overweight for my height so it will be a few months before I even look pregnant – I also get fat all over and I think most people for a while will just think I have just put on lots of weight! a great post though I like reading about maternity wear and outfit it gives me some inspiration #BlogBumpWatch

    • Thank you, I have to say I love that top too, I just went to new look today and bought another top in the same style but with a different design! Oh god it’s awful isn’t it, you just want a sign that says I am putting on weight because I am pregnant, even though I am sure (or at least I hope) we don’t look as bad as we think we do!

    • Wow really, I just can’t do it, the velcro and the pinching, ouch! You are tougher than me, or maybe I just have more excess flab for it to dig in to 😉 I am actually still wearing a lot of my normal leggings with dresses, good job they are stretchy 🙂 xx

  13. Congratulations! it took me ages to agree on wearing maternity clothes, i couldn’t find anything i liked to begin with, but i then found newlooks maternity range and i have to admit – i’m in love! you look great! take care x
    Steph |

    • I have to admit my under bump are sometimes pushing my bump out weirdly now it’s growing so we’ll see how long it lasts! xx

  14. Ah you’re looking fab! Definitely NOT plump, all bump! I prefer the over the bump style stuff, never ever under as I have a high waist and low rise stuff doesn’t work for me when I’m not pregnant, never mind when I am. I find them more comfy and way more flattering!
    x x

    • Thanks lovely, ah I see, I can imagine pre pregnancy shape plays into it, I am really pear shaped with big hips so struggle with high waisted things at the best of times! xx

  15. I hate under bump..find them uncomfortable, but overbump unless I buy larger than I need (and then they fall down..) don’t seem to work very well either! Tall maternity ranges are hard to locate.. I’m just under 5ft11.. and I have had to go for “long” where the legs are long but the body length seems exactly the same.. frustrating! Next seem to be the best trousers I have found for over bump though! x

    • It’s so difficult isn’t it? All the ranges are different and I can’t seem to find any that work perfectly! Not sure who exactly they are designed for! Glad you have found some that work for you 🙂 xx

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